Consumer Reports Recommends iPhone 4S

What a difference a year and a new design makes, at least according to Consumer Reports, which now recommends Apple's iPhone 4S after giving its predecessor a thumb's down.

Consumer Reports said last year it couldn't recommend the iPhone 4 because of reception issues -- which seemed to start off a controversy about Apple's antenna, namely that it could be blocked and reception killed. However, it holds no grudges against Apple, as witnessed by its positive review of the iPhone 4S:

Overall, the new iPhone 4S scores higher in the Ratings than the iPhone 4, thanks to such enhancements as an upgraded camera, a faster "dual-core" processor, and the addition of the intriguing Siri voice-activated feature, which accepts and responds to verbal commands in a conversational manner, using a synthetic-sounding female voice.

However, the iPhone 4S didn't outscore Android phones from Samsung and Motorola (notably the Samsung Galaxy II and Droid Bionic.)

The review also took on the latest complaints about the short battery life of the iPhone 4S, saying, "(The iPhone 4and iPhone 4S) have displayed no notable battery problems in additional special tests we carried out, after some owners complained on user forums of short run times with some samples of both phones."

The report and its tests show us that Apple did some engineering to make the antenna problem go away, and that its current battery life drama may not be as widespread as first thought. 

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